Grandmaster Daryl Johansen, selected for board 3 duties for the upcoming Olympiad in Torino, has withdrawn from the team. This sad news was announced by Dr. Kevin Bonham, ACF Selections Coordinator, this evening. GM Johansen cited "work commitments" as the main reason for his decision.
While not altogether surprising, this turn of events does highlight the one problem our top class players must countenance when their nation calls upon them for representative duties. That is, the nation delivers no financial support. The local federation conducts an appeal but funds collected through that procedure are hardly ever adequate. It is a very bad situation.
Melbourne coach Nicholas Speck, who played very well in Gibraltar recently, is now set to replace Johansen. All that is required now is for this 3-IM norm holder to indicate his acceptance. I do hope he does and all the best to him.